Today’s Reading: Matthew 13:44-46; Psalm 24 and 47
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty;
The Lord, invincible in battle…
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies –
he is the King of glory. – Psalm 24:8,10
How is Jesus affecting your life? What is your response to his teaching and to the difference he is making in the world around you and in your own life?
Word about Jesus was spreading all over the region. When he taught in the synagogue, people were amazed by his teaching. When he healed the demon-possessed, people were again amazed! Everyone was talking about this Jesus from Nazareth. Lives were touched and hearts were encouraged from far and near.
Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!” The news about Jesus spread through every village in the entire region. – Luke 4:36-37
Jesus was making a difference in the ENTIRE region. Wherever he went, he was surrounded by crowds of people – people coming to hear his teaching or bring their sickness to him for healing.
When they came down from the mountain, the disciples stood with Jesus on a large, level area, surrounded by many of his followers and by the crowds. There were people from all over Judea and from Jerusalem and from as far north as the seacoasts of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed. Everyone tried to touch him, because healing power went out from him, and he healed everyone. – Luke 6:17-19
Everyone. Every person who came to Jesus for healing was healed. There was no sickness too great, no disease too complicated, no demon too powerful. Jesus was surrounded by crowds yet he took the time to heal each one.
Jesus traveled throughout the region of Galilee, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. News about him spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon-possessed or epileptic or paralyzed – he healed them all. Large crowds followed him WHEREVER HE WENT – people from Galilee, the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, from all over Judea, and from east of the Jordan River. – Matthew 4:23-25
Large crowds of people were so taken by Jesus that they were willing to follow him wherever he went! Now that’s passion! But it is very similar to our reaction after Jesus radically changes our lives, isn’t it? We fall SO in love with this Jesus, who would heal us or love us or die for us, we would do whatever he asks us to do. We would go wherever he leads us. We give whatever he stirs our hearts to give in order to fund the mission of spreading God’s word.
Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Jerod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples. – Luke 8:1-3
They were so excited about what Jesus was doing that they were willing to LIVE SACRIFICIALLY and GIVE SACRIFICIALLY. As they traveled with Jesus, they heard the same message over and over again and it was changing their lives – the message of the Good News about the Kingdom of God.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.
“Again, the King of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” – Matthew 13:44-46
To want something so much that I am willing to lose all else that I might gain that one thing.
To value something so much that I am willing to forfeit everything in the pursuit of it.
To care about something so much that nothing else matters except that one thing.
This is what God is calling us to.
Do I value the Kingdom of Heaven more than my own earthly kingdom?
Do I value heavenly treasures more than earthly treasures?
Do I value spiritual rewards more than physical rewards?
Do I value my relationship with God above all other relationships?
What will be MY response to Jesus?
Holy Spirit, move in me today. I long to hear from you. Empty me of all that is sin and all that is self and fill me with you. Amen.